Dylan, Sara, Ness, Freddrick, Babs and Young City know that the day of reckoning has come.
“To me, I don’t know if Da Band feels the same way, but it’s judgment day,” Ness said Monday in New York, one day before Bad Boy’s Da Band’s debut LP, Too Hot for TV, hit stores. “We done walked to Brooklyn, stayed up all day and night, slept in one hotel room. This is the day of proving. We gotta get out there and move some units.”
On “Making the Band” we didn’t get a chance to see too much making of music by the motley crew, but the members obviously put aside whatever differences they had and churned out an LP. In fact, they have another album’s worth of material, produced by such beatmakers as the Trackmasters and Rockwilder, in the can. What did make the cut for Too Hot for TV was mostly produced by Tony Dofat and features Da Band thugging and clubbing.
” ‘Stick Up’ is like me and my man Freddrick, a.k.a. the Hitman of Da Band,” Ness explained. “We come together and plan out this whole bank heist. We run in there, put everybody in a circle, get the money and be out. We go to the top of the building and I got my man Chopper on the roof with the chopper and he takes us to Baton Rouge and we ball out. We came up with a concept that everybody can follow from beginning to end.”
“It’s gangsta how we bounced off each other and we got into full character,” Fred added.
The crew also flings raps to and fro on “Hold Me Down.”
“My favorite song on the album is ‘Hold Me Down,’ ” Babs said. “It’s a slingshot rhyme, we all going back and forth. It’s hot, we all spitting fire.”
Da Band gloat less and reflect more on “My Life.” Fred’s partial to that cut.
” ‘My Life,’ that’s actually my favorite on there,” the thumb-sucking Southerner said. “That’s for the people coming up off the streets in the struggle. It’s just showing everybody you ain’t the only person struggling, we all struggle.”
“Life is what you make it/ It may sound basic/ Going through some hard times but be thankful for the good times,” Sara jumped in, reciting some of the song’s lyrics. “It’s just saying you have to have the strength to carry on. It’s one of those deep songs.”
Young City hissed that it wasn’t that deep that he had to officially change his name from Chopper due to Master P’s signee Choppa already legally staking claim to the moniker.
“I’m always going to be Chopper,” the youngest of the group scoffed. “That runs through my veins. Young City is just what Da Band calls me ’cause I represent Chopper City [New Orleans], I act young, I’m wild, I’m 18. I took that name and ran with it. I had to change it because of business, but I ain’t trippin’. When you get the album and listen to it, you all gonna know who the real Chopper is.”
It seems nothing can curb Da Band’s enthusiasm as they embark on their career. Not even disses flying at them from their own labelmates the Hoodfellaz.
The Hoods apparently aren’t too enthused about Diddy having acts such as themselves sitting on the bench for the past couple of years. The Hoodfellaz recently put out a track called “Taking the Band” where they call Babs the man of the house, say that Chopper is ugly and repeatedly yell, “Cheesecake, cheesecake, cheesecake,” clowning Da Band’s infamous walk from Manhattan to Brooklyn to pick up P. Diddy’s favorite desert.
“It’s like this: Please don’t bring them up during our time, they’re not that important,” Fred said. “That junk don’t go nowhere outside New York. They big as Hot 97 and they don’t go nowhere outside New York. Nobody knows who they are in Delaware, nobody knows them in Miami, nobody knows then in New Orleans. Who is Hoodfellaz? They wack. You sorry bastards!”
“They on the same label as us,” Babs added. “A lot of people are jealous they didn’t walk for cheesecake. Cheesecake put paper in our pocket. All the hate and all the joking, it’s all good. That just showed me they watched the show and they made our ratings high. They making us get the third season. So we cheesecake all day. Cheesecake!”
No wonder they are all smiles. Da Band say that they have indeed signed on for another round of reality TV with MTV.
“Are we coming back, maaannn?” Freddrick asked rhetorically, making his voice sound like a cross between a wrestler and a rocker. “Yeeaaah we’re coming back. The #1 show on MTV, are we coming back, man? Yeeeaaah! I’ll be back with bigger cars, bigger chains, bigger tires.”
“Too much sugar,” Sara said about her partner’s outburst. “Too much sugar.”
The group says its third go-round with “Making the Band” will follow them on the road.